Old Babylon 

History of Babylon as a city:

Key Dates

The so-called Weidner Chronicle states that Sargon of Akkad( 2300 BC)  had built Babylon “in front of Akkad“.  Another later chronicle likewise states that Sargon “dug up the dirt of the pit of Babylon, and made a counterpart of Babylon next to Akkad“. Ctesias, quoted by Diodorus Siculus and inGeorge Syncellus‘s Chronographia, claimed to have access to manuscripts from Babylonian archives, which date the founding of Babylon to 2286 BC, under the reign of its first king,Belus.

1900BC: Babylon becomes chief city of the Amorites.

The Amorite king Hammurabi conquered the whole of Mesopotamia, which then became known as Babylonia.

1792-1750BC: Reign of King Hammurabi, law-giver and conqueror of Mesopotamia.

King Hammurabi decided to unify the laws, which were inscribed on a stone stela, or tablet, of black basalt rock. They include laws about money, property, the family and the rights of slaves. The phrase “an eye for an eye and a tooth from a tooth” comes from Hammurabi’s laws.

Claiming to be the successor of the more ancient Sumero-Akkadian city of Eridu, Babylon eclipsed Nippur as the “holy city” of Mesopotamia around the time Amorite king Hammurabi created the first short lived Babylonian Empire in the 18th century BC. 

1595-1155BC: The Kassites rule the city of Babylon.

The Kassites were members of a small military aristocracy but were efficient rulers and not locally unpopular. Their 500-year reign laid an essential groundwork for the development of subsequent Babylonian culture

900BC: The Chaldeans take over Babylon and begin to rebuild it.  Marduk is made the chief deity of the city. 

The symbol of the chief Babylonian-Assyrian god Marduk was the dragon

In the 7th century BC the Assyrians, under Sennacherib, overwhelm the BabyloniansSennacherib appals many in Mesopotamia by his brutal destruction, in 689, of the ancient city of Babylon.

605-562BC: Reign of King Nebuchadnezzar. He builds the great Hanging Gardens as well as the ziggurat to worship Marduk. Babylon is the most sophisticated city in the Near East.

The Hanging Gardens were described as a remarkable feat of engineering: an ascending series of tiered gardens containing all manner of trees, shrubs, and vines. The gardens were said to have looked like a large green mountain constructed of mud bricks.

The Etemenanki Ziggurat (ziggurat meaning “house of the frontier between heaven and earth”) was built in dedication to Marduk, a god descending from the sun deity and literally meaning “solar calf.” 

The gate of Ishtar was the eight gate to the inner city of Babylon

1In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him… 6So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead….10At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. 12And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign… 17And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah1Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem …4And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built forts against it round about…. 

9Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave judgment upon him. 10And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah. 

Jeremiah 52:11 

Then he put out Zedekiah‘s eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon, where he put him in prison till the day of his death.  

2 Chronicles 36:6 

Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon attacked him and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon 

The Temple and the City Burned

12Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem, 13And burned the house of the LORD, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire: 

Ezra 5:12  

But because our ancestors angered the God of heaven, he gave them into the hands
of Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and  

539 — 331 BC: The Persians conquered Babylon through Cyrus the great.   

Cyrus the great

Jeremiah 28:3 

Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles of the LORD’s
house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon  

Babylonian Exile, also called Babylonian Captivity, the forced detention of Jews in Babylonia following the latter’s conquest of the kingdom of Judah in 598/7 and 587/6 bce. The exile formally ended in 538 bce, when the Persian conqueror of Babylonia, Cyrus the Great, gave the Jews permission to return to Palestine.

331- 323 BC: The Greeks conquered Babylon through Alexander the great. After his death the city virtually ran empty due to fighting. 

Alexander the great

A tablet dated 275 BC states that the inhabitants of Babylon were transported to Seleucia, where a palace and a temple (Esagila) were built.

Jeremiah 51:44 

I will punish Bel in Babylon and make him spew out what he has swallowed. The nations will no longer stream to him. And the wall of Babylon will fall.  

The remains of the city are in present-day HillahBabil GovernorateIraq, about 85 kilometres (53 mi) south of Baghdad, comprising a large tell of broken mud-brick buildings and debris.


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